2012/07/17

NEW NET Weekly List for 17 Jul 2012

Below is the final list of issues for the Tuesday, 17 Jul 2012, NEW NET (NorthEast Wisconsin Network for Entrepreneurism and Technology) 7:00 - 9:00 PM weekly gathering at Sergio's Restaurant, 2639 South Oneida Street, Appleton, Wisconsin, USA.

The ‘net
1.        Facebook Groups Start Showing Exactly Who Saw Each Post  http://techcrunch.com/2012/07/11/facebook-group-read-receipts/  “No need to wonder if your family saw that reminder about dinner or if co-workers noticed you uploaded a PowerPoint, as Facebook Groups will soon display a count and a list of names of who saw each post. For example: “Seen by 2″, and when hovered “Josh Constine | Eric Eldon”…These “read receipts” is a feature Facebook recently added to Messages and Chat, and that has historically been found in some private email and SMS services. Bringing them to more public social feeds is a bold step. They’ll certainly simplify coordination in Groups and remove the need for “did you see that?” messages. But will read receipts come to the news feed? Some users might find that very creepy…” [will this take the fun out of FB being primarily a stalking tool for many people? – ed.]
2.       Transforming old NYC payphone booths into Wi-Fi hotspots  http://dvice.com/archives/2012/07/great-idea-tran.php  “Even as ubiquitous as cellphones are, in many parts of the world, telephone booths still exist. In some places, newer telephone booths already come with Wi-Fi hotspots, but for old payphones rotting away, like those in New York City, they're finally getting retrofitted with Internet access. As part of a pilot program, New York City will begin converting existing payphone booths into Wi-Fi hotspots, with 10 locations in three of the city's five boroughs. Payphone booths will essentially blast Wi-Fi signals for free, seven days a week, 24 hours a day up to 200 feet of the kiosk…Adding Wi-Fi to telephone booths that virtually nobody uses is a great idea, and not one just for New York City. In places like Japan, they've got vending machines that provide free Wi-Fi, so why not a telephone booth?…”
3.       Wikimedia to launch travel guide with Wikitravel rebels  http://skift.com/2012/07/13/wikipedia-parent-launch-travel-guide-wikitravel-rebels/  “…The Wikimedia Foundation has decided to create a travel guide in the mold of its non-profit, user-written and search engine results-hogging Wikipedia. The free encyclopedia often dominates the upper tiers of Google search results pages, and the launch of a still-unnamed Wikimedia travel guide could have substantial implications for travelers seeking free destination advice — and guidebook publishers such as LonelyPlanet — if the new project garners any kind of comparable clout. Imagine a free TripAdvisor focused on travel destinations, where masses of travelers could update information during or after their hotel stay, tour or private meanderings around town, and share it with the world under the supervision of seasoned administrators…31 of the 48 administrators of the Internet Brands-owned Wikitravel have expressed interest in joining forces with the Wikimedia Foundation’s travel guide website. Wikitravel is considered the current leader in travel wikis…the introduction to a community discussion about the travel guide proposal argues that Internet Brands has failed to keep pace with the times and that Wikitravel suffers from a “lack of technical support/feature development.”…Wikivoyage, which broke with Wikitravel in 2006, about a year after Internet Brands acquired it, would join forces with the Wikimedia travel guide, contributing its 12,000 articles in German and 24,000 in Italian…Although Wikivoyage would be the name of the Italian and German versions of the site, travel.wikimedia.org would be used on an interim basis for the English-language version of the site until the group decides on a permanent name…”
4.       What Exactly Is GitHub Anyway?  http://techcrunch.com/2012/07/14/what-exactly-is-github-anyway/  “…what the heck is GitHub…You may have heard that GitHub is a code sharing and publishing service, or that it’s a social networking site for programmers. Both statements are true, but neither explain exactly why GitHub is special. At the heart of GitHub is Git, an open source project started by Linux creator Linus Torvalds…Git, like other version control systems, manages and stores revisions of projects. Although it’s mostly used for code, McCullough says Git could be used to manage any other type of file, such as Word documents or Final Cut projects. Think of it as a filing system for every draft of a document. Some of Git’s predecessors, such as CVS and Subversion, have a central “repository” of all the files associated with a project. McCullough explains that when a developer makes changes, those changes are made directly to the central repository. With distributed version control systems like Git, if you want to make a change to a project you copy the whole repository to your own system. You make your changes on your local copy, then you “check in” the changes to the central server…GitHub is a Git repository hosting service, but it adds many of its own features. While Git is a command line tool, GitHub provides a Web-based graphical interface. It also provides access control and several collaboration features, such as a wikis and basic task management tools for every project. The flagship functionality of GitHub is “forking” – copying a repository from one user’s account to another. This enables you to take a project that you don’t have write access to and modify it under your own account. If you make changes you’d like to share, you can send a notification called a “pull request” to the original owner. That user can then, with a click of a button, merge the changes found in your repo with the original repo. These three features – fork, pull request and merge – are what make GitHub so powerful…”
5.        Mozilla Firefox 14 more secure, uses automatic Google search encryption  http://venturebeat.com/2012/07/17/mozilla-creates-a-more-secure-firefox-with-automatic-google-search-encryption/  “…Firefox 14…adds a number of new fixes and features…when users make Google searches via the search bar, location bar, or right-click menu, Firefox will run them via a secured, HTTPS connection. The behavior tweak gives Firefox users a bit more privacy when it comes to their Google searches…Google is the only search engine that offers secure searches…speaking of Google, it’s worth mentioning that accomplishing a similar task in Google’s own Chrome browser is a bit more difficult. Chrome users looking for the feature should be well served by the Electronic Frontier Foundation’s HTTP Everywhere extension, which forces sites to use HTTP connections when they are available…”
Security, Privacy & Digital Controls
6.       Facebook Monitors Your Chats for Criminal Activity  http://mashable.com/2012/07/12/facebook-scanning-chats/  “Facebook and other social platforms are watching users’ chats for criminal activity and notifying police if any suspicious behavior is detected, according to a report. The screening process begins with scanning software that monitors chats for words or phrases that signal something might be amiss, such as an exchange of personal information or vulgar language. The software pays more attention to chats between users who don’t already have a well-established connection on the site and whose profile data indicate something may be wrong, such as a wide age gap. The scanning program is also “smart” — it’s taught to keep an eye out for certain phrases found in the previously obtained chat records from criminals including sexual predators. If the scanning software flags a suspicious chat exchange, it notifies Facebook security employees, who can then determine if police should be notified…The new details about Facebook’s monitoring system came from an interview which the company’s Chief Security Officer Joe Sullivan gave to Reuters. At least one alleged child predator has been brought to trial directly as a result of Facebook’s chat scanning…”
7.        That’s No Phone. That’s My Tracker.  http://www.nytimes.com/2012/07/15/sunday-review/thats-not-my-phone-its-my-tracker.html  “THE device in your purse or jeans that you think is a cellphone — guess again. It is a tracking device that happens to make calls. Let’s stop calling them phones. They are trackers. Most doubts about the principal function of these devices were erased when it was recently disclosed that cellphone carriers responded 1.3 million times last year to law enforcement requests for call data…millions of cellphone users have been swept up in government surveillance of their calls and where they made them from. Many police agencies don’t obtain search warrants when requesting location data from carriers. Thanks to the explosion of GPS technology and smartphone apps, these devices are also taking note of what we buy, where and when we buy it, how much money we have in the bank, whom we text and e-mail, what Web sites we visit, how and where we travel, what time we go to sleep and wake up — and more…We have all heard about the wonders of frictionless sharing, whereby social networks automatically let our friends know what we are reading or listening to, but what we hear less about is frictionless surveillance. Though we invite some tracking — think of our mapping requests as we try to find a restaurant in a strange part of town — much of it is done without our awareness…”
8.       When Art, Apple and the Secret Service Collide: ‘People Staring at Computers’  http://www.wired.com/threatlevel/2012/07/people-staring-at-computers/all/  “I really wasn’t expecting the Secret Service. Maybe an email, or a phone call from Apple. Instead, my first indication that something was “wrong” was a real-life visit from the organization best known for protecting the President of the United States of America…I decided to tell them everything. In early 2009 I read an article on radical openness. In “Thoughts on total openness of information,” Dan Paluska brainstorms about the possibility of posting all your “personal” information online, asking what the repercussions would be. What if people could see every bank transaction you made? Or read every email you wrote? I started answering these questions for myself with “keytweeter,” a yearlong performance starting in June 2009. Keytweeter was a custom keylogger that tweeted every 140 characters I typed. Over that year, I learned a lot about myself and what “privacy” means…I learned that I was more honest, with myself and with others, when I knew everyone could see what I was saying…In mid-May, 2011, I took a timelapse using my laptop’s webcam to get a feeling for how I looked at the computer. After a few days of recording, I watched the video. I was completely stunned. There was no expression on my face. Even though I spend most of my day talking to and collaborating with other people online, from my face you can see no trace of this. I thought about Paul Ekman developing his Facial Action Coding System in the 60s, and discovering that “expression alone is sufficient to create marked changes in the autonomic nervous system“. I felt like there was something important here that I needed to share…I had to get other people involved…I didn’t want to break the law. I was prepared to make people a little uncomfortable, but I didn’t want to do anything illegal…I tried to think of a busy public space full of computers, and the Apple Store seemed so obvious…There was definitely no expectation of privacy: the 14th Street Apple Store has glass walls. And I saw people taking pictures inside all the time…I looked around to double check that there were no terms of service I was missing…Before leaving, I sat on a bench for a few minutes to watch people. Thinking about their posture, their gestures, their expressions. Months later a friend would tell me, “those faces are synonymous with the faces we have when we are alone”. We all really looked the same. I checked the upload page from my iPod to confirm that everything was running, and left the store…I was originally planning on releasing a short montage of all the faces, but after talking with some friends I realized you get the best impression for peoples’ expressions when you can see the individual photos…I wrote a new app that, instead of sending photos to the server, played back previously captured photos as a slideshow…I installed this exhibition app on all the free computers at the 14th Street Apple Store…When the slideshow first opened, it would capture an image of whoever was standing in front of the computer, and show them first before fading into the previously captured photos…After I had prepared all the machines, I met up with two friends…We got situated in the store, double checked with an employee that it was ok to shoot video…I struck up conversation with a nice guy who was using one of the machines, and asked if I could record some video over his shoulder while he was using the computer. He obliged…within a few seconds the slideshow started, showing his face first. He was confused. Everyone in the store using a computer was confused…No one said anything to their neighbors. No one looked around to see if it was just them, or if everyone was having this “problem”. A few people took their hands off the keyboard and tried to figure out what was going on…For a second time, I was completely stunned. Why didn’t anyone talk to each other? Why didn’t anyone look at the other computers? Not only have we forgotten that there are people on the other side of the internet, but we’ve forgotten that there are other people in the same room…”
9.       Zynga, Kixeye and EA work with Facebook to allow users to begin playing games without requiring permissions dialog  http://www.insidesocialgames.com/2012/07/13/zynga-kixeye-and-ea-work-with-facebook-to-allow-users-to-begin-playing-games-without-requiring-permissions-dialog/  “Zynga, Kixeye and EA have signed contracts with Facebook to let users begin playing games immediately without the roadblock of a permissions dialog…Games with the ”start now” function  – including Zynga Slingo, Indiana Jones Adventure World, Backyard Monsters and Battle Pirates, among others — will be able to access to a user’s basic profile information and friend list without requesting permissions. A blue bar above the game will allow users to opt out at any time and the app will no longer have access to their information. Early tests have shown increased installs and low opt-out rates…The reduced friction could help developers bring in more users who might otherwise be turned off by the permissions request. The result amounts to somewhat of a trial period. If games need additional permissions down the line, for example, access to a user’s email address, birthday or Timeline publishing, they will have to request those with a traditional auth dialog…”
Mobile Computing & Communicating
10.     Android users: Buy that Starbucks with PayPal, also works in the U.K., Canada  http://gigaom.com/mobile/android-users-buy-that-starbucks-with-paypal-or-in-the-u-k-canada/  “…Starbucks continues to show how a brick-and-mortar retailer can offer customers the ease and convenience of mobile payments…the company updated its Starbucks mobile app for Android with new features, including PayPal support for card reloads, while also expanding support for the app in both Canada and the U.K…Interestingly, in an app economy that generally favors iOS devices over those that run Android, the support for Canada and the U.K. are specifically for Google Android devices…it’s interesting that the application’s geographic expansion is Android first. That may signal Starbucks’ acceptance that while iOS is the money-making platform in general, Android’s market share counts more from the company’s point of view…”  http://www.forbes.com/sites/kellyclay/2012/07/11/starbucks-introduces-mobile-payments-for-canada-and-uk/  “…Starbucks…loyalty program actually “formed the basis for this mobile payment ecosystem.”…instead of paying with plastic cards, customers can simply scan their phone using Starbucks unique POS to pay for their morning coffee…the total number of mobile transactions today is close to 55 million – or close to 25% of transactions…”
11.      O2 fixes 2G mobile network as engineers work on 3G  http://www.bbc.com/news/technology-18801300  “…network problems that hit hundreds of thousands of O2 customers have continued into a second day. The mobile firm said its 2G network had now been restored and that customers should now be able to make and receive calls. O2 is advising users to turn off their 3G setting while engineers work to restore that part of the network. The widespread issues began "at lunchtime" on Wednesday which meant many lost voice and data services…It is not clear how many of O2's 23 million customers have been hit by the fault but the operator said the problem was not based on geography. Across the country some will be able to connect at the same location as others who cannot…”
12.     Video look at AT&T’s new Motorola Atrix HD  http://gigaom.com/mobile/video-look-at-atts-new-motorola-atrix-hd/  “Motorola recently announced its new Atrix HD smartphone specifically for AT&T’s LTE network…My first impression is that at $99 with contract, this Android 4.0 handset will certainly get potential buyers looking at it in detail…Here’s a video look at the hardware, showing some size comparisons to the Galaxy Nexus and Galaxy S III, along with a quick peek at Motorola’s implemenation of Android 4.0…my eyes were immediately drawn to the 4.5-inch 1280 x 720 display, which is very crisp and clear…While the phone itself looks nice, I already like the optional landscape dock. Plugging the phone into the dock provides a number of dock options…Will the 1.5 GHz dual-core Snapdragon suffice in the $99 Atrix HD? I’ll know after a full set of tests and some usage time, but I suspect it will provide enough horsepower for most…I’m leery of the 8 GB storage capacity — of which 4.98 GB are accessible on the review unit — but the microSD card slot will offsets that…”
Apps
13.     Amazing Alex Shoots to No. 1 on First Day  http://allthingsd.com/20120713/amazing-alex-shoots-to-no-1-on-first-day/  “Rovio doesn’t need birds to fly it to the top of the app charts. Its new non-Angry Birds game, Amazing Alex, is already No. 1 in many regions, just a day after it was released, with particular strength on iOS. The iPhone version of Amazing Alex, a chain-reaction puzzle game, costs 99 cents and is the top app in 35 countries…The iPad version, which goes for $2.99, is No. 1 in 50 countries…on Android, Amazing Alex is No. 11 on Google Play…ITunes gave significant promotion to Amazing Alex…”
14.     Mobile App Developers Scoop Up Vast Amounts of Data  http://bits.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/07/12/mobile-app-developers-scoop-up-vast-amounts-of-data-reports-say/  “They can stream music, make restaurant reservations, and offer distractions for ornery children. But few things in life are free – least of all applications. Two new reports this week reveal how app developers are scooping up enormous amounts of data from mobile devices and serving up ads in unlikely places. Advertising revenues have long been the oil that greases the Internet. Mobile apps are its new frontier. [frontiers generally have few rules and the naïve or unprepared often fare poorly – ed.] The Future of Privacy Forum, an advocacy group, on Wednesday, reported first the good news: Application developers are getting better at writing up privacy policies on both Google and Apple operating systems, the group concluded. But some still don’t take that minimum first step, even when collecting sensitive information, like location; they included a game, Fruit Ninja Plus, and a photo app, Camera+…Lookout Security found far more invasive practices by the companies that serve up advertisements on behalf of app  developers. Some pushed advertisements to the device notification bar, well beyond the confines of the actual application. Others inserted new icons or shortcuts on the mobile desktop and tweaked bookmarks settings…“Given the pace at which the mobile ecosystem is moving, it’s important that standards are developed to ensure that private user data is accessed and managed appropriately…”
15.     GM opens up OnStar with peer-to-peer car sharing service  http://gigaom.com/cleantech/gm-opens-up-onstar-with-peer-to-peer-car-sharing-service/  “…subscribers to GM’s OnStar connected car service can now rent out their cars to other drivers…RelayRides…says it is the first third party to use OnStar’s API…Using the OnStar system, RelayRides members can use a mobile app to reserve a car and unlock and lock the door. Owners of the vehicles can earn money from renting out their cars, and set the price for how much they want their cars to be rented…”
SkyNet
16.     Google+ finally allows you to merge your accounts  http://gigaom.com/2012/07/12/google-plus-apps-account-migration-tool/  “Google+ users with a profile attached to their regular Gmail account and one attached to their Google apps account are finally able to merge those two accounts, thanks to a new tool launched by Google Thursday. The tool, which is part of Google Takeout, the company’s data portability initiative, allows users to transfer their circles from one Google+ account to another and automatically forward followers to their prefered account…Apps users need to start the transfer through Google Takeout, after which a seven-day wait period begins. Once those seven days are over, it will take Google two days to transfer the data over, during which users won’t be able to share anything on either of their Google+ accounts, add or remove people from their circles, or block or ignore people…” http://www.pcworld.com/article/259204/google_takeout_tool_helps_transfer_data_between_accounts.html  “…If circles on one account have the same name as the other, they will merge, but profile information, posts and comments from your previous account won’t be transferred to the new profile. For bloggers who linked their posts to Google+ profiles, this data won’t be migrated either, which can be quite an inconvenience if you want to switch accounts. The Google Takeout solution, although useful, does not seem complete. Since your original profile is kept and still associated with content, you will have to downgrade your old Google profile, which means you will also have to export any data you might want to save, like things you posted on Google+ -- otherwise, you get duplicated profile data …”
17.     Google’s Marissa Mayer Becomes Yahoo’s Chief  http://dealbook.nytimes.com/2012/07/16/googles-marissa-mayer-tapped-as-yahoos-chief/  “Marissa Mayer, one of the top executives at Google, will be the next chief executive of Yahoo, making her one of the most prominent women in Silicon Valley and corporate America…Ms. Mayer, 37, had for years been responsible for the look and feel of Google’s most popular products: the famously unadorned white search homepage, Gmail, Google News and Google Images. More recently, Ms. Mayer, an engineer by training whose first job at Google included computer programming, was put in charge of the company’s location and local services, including Google Maps, overseeing more than 1,000 product managers…Ms. Mayer joins a short list of women in technology companies to hold the top spot. The elite club includes Meg Whitman, the chief executive of Hewlett-Packard, and Virginia Rometty, the head of I.B.M. Another senior woman in Silicon Valley, Sheryl Sandberg, is Facebook’s chief operating officer. For Ms. Mayer, Google’s first female engineer, the move to Yahoo is an opportunity to step out on her own and claim a bigger stage…In April, Wal-Mart, the world’s largest retailer, tapped Ms. Mayer to join its board, her first seat at a public company. She is one of four women on Wal-Mart’s 16-member board…After years of heading-up its search business, Google’s most profitable unit, Ms. Mayer became vice president of the company’s local efforts in late 2010…Ms. Mayer said she “had an amazing time at Google,” where she has worked for the last 13 years, but that ultimately “it was a reasonably easy decision” to take the top job at Yahoo…She recalled that when she first started at Google, the company would conduct user surveys and “people didn’t understand the difference between Yahoo and the Internet.” She said she hoped “to get focused on creating a really great user experiences” and to attract new talent from Silicon Valley to the company. “Talent is what drives technology companies,”…Ms. Mayer said she was intent on leveraging the Internet company’s strong franchises including e-mail, finance and sports. She also hopes to do more with its video broadband and its mobile businesses… “In the last few years, given the turnover, there has been a lack of attention on the user experience,” David Filo, co-founder of Yahoo, who still works at the company, said in an interview on Monday. “We need to get back to basics.” He said he was very excited Ms. Mayer agreed to join the company. “It will be a surprise for a lot of people …”
18.     Google patent details hybrid notebook/tablet with virtual keyboard   http://9to5google.com/2012/07/13/google-patent-details-hybrid-notebooktablet-with-virtual-keyboard/  “…a newly published Google patent application…details what appears to be a hybrid notebook/tablet design…it would not be too shocking to see more Google-made hardware following the company jumping into end-to-end manufacturing of its new U.S.-made Nexus Q hardware…it is certainly interesting to see innovative notebook designs are at least being conceptualized at Google…aspects of the patent application cover a notebook device with virtual keyboard and trackpad in place of a traditional physical keyboard. While the patent covers a wide variety of possible configurations, some highlights include…The display could rotate and fold down to allow single slab, tablet-like design. The patent also covers other possible methods of rotating and reconfiguring the display…The device could operate on multiple platforms “that could include one or more types of hardware, software, firmware, operating systems and runtime libraries.”…In different embodiments, the device could function as an e-reader, personal assistant, or mobile phone …”
General Technology
19.     uBeam Intends To Let You Charge Gadgets Wirelessly Via Ultrasonics  http://techcrunch.com/2012/07/11/disruptive-defined-ubeam-lands-750k-to-let-you-charge-gadgets-without-plugs/  “…uBeam, a small startup…has taken on $750,000 in seed funding to build out its technology for wirelessly charging electronic devices…Here is what Perry would say: uBeam has “several patents” filed regarding its technology for wirelessly charging gadgets such as laptops and smartphones without plugging them into wall outlets or other energy sources, and she is being aided by a team of other people (she would not disclose uBeam’s staff count.)…uBeam clearly has a lot of work and development ahead of it. More than anything, the new funding is really a testament to uBeam’s hustle — a startup getting out there and showing a really sharp demo to some influential people …”  http://www.businessinsider.com/overheard-ubeam-raising--1-million-from-founders-fund-2012-7  “…Ubeam is a transmitter that uses ultrasonic waves to wirelessly charge nearby mobile devices. Perry says the waves aren't harmful to humans. They're using a pitch that can't be heard by humans, and it doesn't use radiation to transmit the charge…what happens is the ultrasound will vibrate the piezocrystals, and the crystals will move back and forth, and that will generate an electrical current." Perry doesn't have an electrical engineering background; she studied astrobiology in school. She self-taught herself to build UBeam's working prototype via Google and Wikipedia. Perry thought of the idea for UBeam in class, when her laptop died and she didn't have a way to charge it…as she explained it to us, Perry was in the middle of a "Zuckerberg-Eduardo Saverin" like scandal.  Her fellow classmate and cofounder, Nora Dweck, filed a lawsuit against her. We've heard the lawsuit is behind them…Perry has also been approached by large corporations who have tried to intimidate her into licensing UBeam's technology to them, for which Perry has filed a few patents…Perry told DailyBrink that she wants to roll out a consumer product by 2013. Her current product is designed to charge an iPhone 4 in 3.3 hours. Ideally, it will be a product that can be placed on the floor or ceiling of a room and charge every device, laptop and iPad alike, at once. It's still very much in the beginning phases, but UBeam could be a very disruptive idea…”
20.    This Body-Sized Tablet Device Could Save Your Life One Day  http://www.wallstreetdaily.com/2012/07/10/video-this-body-sized-tablet-device-could-save-your-life-one-day/  “No, that’s not a giant iPad. That’s the Anatomage – a table that portrays a 3-D virtual image of the human body. It uses real CT scans to piece together a full representation of the human body. And since it can be peeled back layer by layer and contorted in three dimensions, it gives surgeons a better idea of what they’re dealing with before they make the first cut…Dr. Philip Pratt, Research Fellow at Imperial College in London, is using the institution’s Anatomage (the only one in Europe) to teach medical students…“Unlike a traditional way of viewing a medical image, where you see a slice through that scan and you can move the slice backwards and forwards, you don’t really get to see things in 3-D. [Anatomage] allows you to see everything at once, to see all of the structure. And then you can move around and view it from any angle…[Ordinarily], once one has dissected a particular area… that’s it. You can only do it once and you can’t reproduce that exact dissection of the individual cadaver… Whereas with this kind of technology, you can just reproduce – again and again – what you want to see …”
21.     MS Office 2013, a realistic alternative to Google Docs?  http://reviews.cnet.com/office-suites/the-new-microsoft-office/4505-3524_7-35374636.html  “…I wouldn't blame you for asking why a business would pay for it when it could get a comparable set of office tools from Google Docs for a lot less or even free. But after using The New Microsoft Office…for a few days, I can tell you that there are plenty of reasons for trading up. For starters it's available wherever you are, on whatever device you're using at the time, and with full touch-screen support, the entire suite has been reinvented to work with Windows 8-driven tablets, regular keyboard-and-mouse desktop setups, and even smartphones…So how could Microsoft do it? In a word: convenience. I'm not just talking about the convenience of continuing to use what you've used before -- I'm talking about the suite itself. What Microsoft has done in this latest version is make Office useable on a tablet running Windows 8…So while it has streamlined the suite out of necessity, it's now easier to use than ever…Office also offers an enormous number of templates across the suite (with even more available online) to fulfill almost any business need…you'll waste almost no time creating documents from scratch. In my testing, the suite of apps worked seamlessly together -- and with Microsoft's services -- making collaboration, sharing, and internal communication much easier…The new interface across the entire suite of applications has been reinvented, mostly for the better. First off, the Ribbon, which disappointed many users when it first appeared in Office 2007, remains part of the new Office. But before you start grumbling, consider that Microsoft has made it optional this time around. So now you can show or hide the exhaustive collections of tools across every tab, and decide how much or how little you want to use them…”
22.    The future of flash memory: tiny (and extremely tough to build)  http://arstechnica.com/information-technology/2012/07/the-future-of-ssds/  “Flash memory continues to shrink in size and grow in capacity. Hard disk drive technology continues its inevitable march toward greater areal densities, and hybrid drives are being purchased in greater numbers. Hewlett-Packard is busy at work on a new type of storage, one based on fancy little things called memristors, which may hit the market in the mid-term. There's a lot happening with solid state storage, and a lot more set to happen—but some serious problems need to be solved first. For electronics, smaller is almost always better. Moore's Law—which says that the amount of transistors one can cram into a given amount of space tends to double about every eighteen months—still holds roughly true for NAND flash. SSDs based on a 25nm or 20nm manufacturing process are common today, and in early June, Toshiba announced a line of SSDs based on a 19nm process size. The advantages of smaller flash are huge, since material costs money—and more flash can go on a single chip, which most obviously means bigger drive sizes. Even better, smaller floating gate transistors use less electricity and operate more efficiently, and gains in power efficiency are extremely important for flash memory's most important growth area: the mobile market. When coupled with the eventual switch to TLC (triple-level cell) flash over the current MLC (multi-level cell) flash, the future should look rosy: physically smaller, higher-capacity SSDs which use less power…”
Leisure & Entertainment
23.    Meet Bitplay BANG!, The Lamp You Can “Shoot” From Across The Room  http://techcrunch.com/2012/07/13/meet-bitplay-bang-the-lamp-you-can-shoot-from-across-the-room/  “A solid chunk of my formative years was spent lurking under tables, peering around corners, and generally tiptoeing around whenever possible. I fancied myself a tiny James Bond…there’s nothing I wouldn’t have given to have the bitplay BANG! remote controlled lamp help me live out my pre-adolescent fantasies…the remote to operate the lamp is a little white gun. That’s right, if you’re ever in need of more light, just shoot the lamp to turn it on or off — the gun/remote has a range of just under 50 feet too, so there’s no excuse for leaving that lamp on as you wander throughout the house…the gun makes that wonderful ricocheting bullet sound when it “fires,” which would just put me over the moon…Even better, the lampshade automatically tilts itself when “shot” into the off position to complete the effect…the lamp comes with a pretty hefty price tag — it’ll set avid spy impersonators back a cool $299…”  [ya gotta watch the video; this immediately made me start thinking about other Bitplay BANG! / laser-tag-ish items you could similarly hack so you could have a houseful of ‘targets’ – what a great place to have a par-tay, with every partygoer having their own gun or other activation device; you could even program things so a network could keep track of individual scores or team scores; definitely money to be made on this idea – ed.]
24.    How the Ouya Might Do What Google TV Couldn't  http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2407045,00.asp  “The Ouya Android game console project has gotten a lot of attention. In just three days, it's raised over $4 million on Kickstarter, and became the fastest Kickstarter project to reach $1 million. It's being marketed as a game console for budget gamers and hackers, offering an Android backbone and a $99 price tag to people who want another option beyond the big three console makers…When the Ouya comes out, it will at best have a few console-oriented games and a lot of smartphone and tablet games that will hopefully work with the gamepad…The Ouya caught my attention not because of what it could do for gaming, but for what it could do for home entertainment. Specifically, it could fill the hole Google has dug and been unable to fill itself with Google TV. Google TV had a lot of potential, but a shaky first year with expensive products and a slow trickle of devices have made its future uncertain, and Google was strangely silent about it at this year's Google I/O…the Ouya will be an Android device that can output 1080p video to an HDTV. It will have a Tegra3 quad-core processor, 1GB of RAM, 8GB of storage, and run Android 4.0. It will also be easy to root. This is a $99 streaming media device that could give the few Google TV products (and other non-Google TV streaming video devices) a run for their money, all without using Google TV's interface…”  http://www.extremetech.com/gaming/132751-the-99-ouya-console-exciting-innovative-and-probably-doomed  “…The goal of Ouya’s project leader Julie Uhrman reads like a love letter to hackers, makers, and open-source enthusiasts: Build a $99 game console that’s explicitly designed for hacking, modding, and development. All of the platform’s games will be offered with demo versions or will use a freemium price structure, rooting the console won’t void your warranty, and the Tegra 3 SoC, HDMI output, 1GB of RAM, and 8GB of flash storage are a pretty good deal at $100. Ouya is being built by industry veterans, including Uhrman herself, Ed Fries (former vice-president of game publishing for Microsoft during the original Xbox’s early days), and product designer Yves Behar. According to Uhrman, the surging popularity of tablets and smartphones has led to an industry brain drain, with numerous talented developers departing the console space to focus on mobile products…What Uhrman wants to do is take that small-scale, user-friendly business model and bring it back to the big screen…the Kickstarter page reminds you, “you know your best gaming memories happened in the living room.” It’s a good point — but can Ouya leverage those memories into a successful business model? It’s hard to be optimistic.The home entertainment industry is currently in the greatest state of flux since the invention of the VCR…The Ouya is strolling into this turmoil on the strength of an idea Apple, Microsoft, and a great many game publishers scoff at. In the conventional world and in the minds of many game developers, root access leads to piracy, and piracy leads to death. That’s an institutional mindset that’s not going to be easy to overcome…”
25.    New simulation is as close to traveling through space as it gets   http://www.pcworld.com/article/258991/space_engine_lets_you_be_the_astronaut_youve_always_wanted_to_be.html  “…SpaceEngine may be the closest most of us will ever come to intergalactic travel. Described as "free space simulation software," SpaceEngine is a rather heady combination of actual astronomical data and procedurally generated information. In other words, you'll get to see everything from an accurate model of Earth's atmosphere to the game's extrapolation of galaxies we have yet to even dream of…According to the description on the SpaceEngine website, SpaceEngine has every type of celestial object known to modern astronomy. It also lets you exercise time control in order to observe the rotation of planets and their orbital movement, view orbital paths, take in the splendors of 3D planetary landscapes and volumetric space models, import your own user add-ons and, most importantly, pilot spaceships…Not only can you zip through this virtual universe like the Silver Surfer with Free mode, but you can choose between Spacecraft mode and Aircraft mode, both of which utilize inertia to simulate a rigid body in zero gravity …”
26.    Comic-Con fans await The Hobbit  http://www.vancouversun.com/Entertainment/Comic+fans+await+Hobbit/6914353/story.html  “Comic-Con International rolls into San Diego this week…high on the list of mustsee events is film footage of what actor Elijah Wood promises is a bigger Hobbit than fans can imagine…The Hobbit, a Warner Bros. film based on the novel by J.R.R. Tolkien…follows the trilogy of blockbuster films based on his Lord of the Rings book series. Wood, who catapulted to fame with his role as Frodo Baggins in the Rings trilogy and has reprised his character for The Hobbit, will be back at Comic-Con this year, a decade after he accompanied director Peter Jackson to promote the first film. "The scale of The Hobbit is larger, the anticipation is potentially greater, everything feels a little bit bigger," Wood told Reuters about the movie, which hits theatres in December…details about The Hobbit have been kept under wraps with only one trailer released last December, but the studio will finally show extended film clips and Jackson himself is expected to turn out to meet fans and answer questions…”
Economy and Technology
27.    Amazon’s ambitious new push for same-day delivery  http://www.slate.com/articles/business/small_business/2012/07/amazon_same_day_delivery_how_the_e_commerce_giant_will_destroy_local_retail_.single.html  “Amazon has long enjoyed an unbeatable price advantage over its physical rivals. When I buy a $1,000 laptop from Wal-Mart, the company is required to collect local sales tax from me, so I pay almost $1,100 at checkout. In most states, Amazon is exempt from that rule…when I buy a $1,000 laptop from Amazon, I’m supposed to pay a $100 “use tax” when I file my annual return with my home state of California. But nobody does that. For most people, then, most items at Amazon are significantly cheaper than the same, identically priced items at other stores…many states have passed laws that aim to force Amazon to collect sales taxes…Amazon hasn’t taken kindly to these efforts. It has filed numerous legal challenges…But suddenly, Amazon has stopped fighting the sales-tax war…Why would Amazon give up its precious tax advantage?...Amazon’s tax capitulation is part of a major shift in the company’s operations…Now that it has agreed to collect sales taxes, the company can legally set up warehouses right inside some of the largest metropolitan areas in the nation. Why would it want to do that? Because Amazon’s new goal is to get stuff to you immediately—as soon as a few hours after you hit Buy…It’s hard to overstate how thoroughly this move will shake up the retail industry…”
28.    Dalton Caldwell’s ‘Alternative to Advertising Hell’: Making People Actually Pay For A Web Service  http://techcrunch.com/2012/07/13/app-net-dalton-caldwell-twitter-feed/  “Dalton Caldwell is a very smart guy who has been a prominent entrepreneur and programmer on the Silicon Valley scene for a while now, so any time he announces a new project you can pretty much tell it is going to be newsworthy…Lots of things about Caldwell’s new direction for App.net are interesting: It’s a big idea, attempting to go up against a big competitor, and he’s going about funding it in an interesting Kickstarter-like way…perhaps the most compelling aspect of the whole thing is his assertion that the currently dominant revenue model for web startups — advertising — just cannot go on any longer…Caldwell points out that the major sites of today’s social web — Facebook, Twitter, Google+ — all make money primarily by selling ads targeted to users based on the data they feed into the system…To be clear: I’m glad there are ad-supported options, but why does that seem like the only option? … I want a real alternative to advertising hell… I would gladly pay for a service that treats me better…One session at Foo Camp this year felt like a wake for Web2.0. We discussed the progression: a free service with a vague business model captures the hearts and minds of a large user base, and becomes vitally important. Because the hosting bills and payroll balloon as the service grows, founders are left with a very difficult decision to make. Sell the company? Cram the site full of ads? Keep raising money to delay having to deal with this issue as long as possible?...that is what he is shooting for with this new direction for App.net — it will be something that he calls a “financially sustainable ad-free service” that sells a product, not its users’ data. This of course means that people will have to pay. He’s crowdfunding the site’s development, soliciting $500,000 from anyone who wants to pitch in. According to him, they’ll need just 10,000 paying users to make it work…I have to agree that it’s high time that the advertising dominance has to come to an end. We pay for so many other things in our lives — it’s how commerce works — but for many reasons we haven’t become used to pulling out our wallets for services we use on the web. It’ll certainly be exciting to see if Caldwell can help push people forward into changing…”  https://join.app.net/
DHMN Technology
29.  DIY Wireless Typing Glove Is The Future Of Michael Jackson Impersonation/Data Entry  http://techcrunch.com/2012/07/14/diy-wireless-typing-glove-is-the-future-of-michael-jackson-impersonationdata-entry/  “As we were wandering through the Atlanta meet-up last week we stumbled upon a charming young man wearing a glove studded with circuit boards and embroidered with what looked like silver thread. Upon closer inspection, it turned out that it was a wild homegrown glove made by a pair of former design students. The project is called G.A.U.N.T.L.E.T. (Generally Accessible Universal Nomadic Tactile Low-power Electronic Typist)…it would allow a person to type on any smartphone or computer with one hand, opening up interesting possibilities…The glove…was an experiment he built in college and it has gone through a number iterations. Right now it uses electrically conductive embroidered letters to send signals via Bluetooth…”
30.    Korean company's tiny quad-core ARM Linux computer packs a punch at $129  http://arstechnica.com/gadgets/2012/07/korean-company-offers-3-5-inch-quad-core-arm-linux-computer-for-129/  “…The $35 Raspberry Pi ARM board…met with huge demand when it launched in February…But what if you need more power than the 700MHz ARM11 board can offer? A Korean hardware manufacturer…is launching a high-end alternative. The company’s new ODROID-X board comes with a Samsung Exynos 4 processor, a quad-core CPU clocked at 1.4GHz. The board also has a quad-core Mali 400 GPU, 1GB of RAM, six USB host ports, an ethernet adapter, headphone and microphone jacks, and an SDHC card slot for storage. With four times as much RAM as the Raspberry Pi and a much more powerful processor, the Hardkernel board seems like a nice option for more computationally-intensive usage scenarios. The system is…compact, measuring at about 3.5 x 3.7 inches…it is capable of running the latest version of Ubuntu in addition to Android…”
31.     Play Pong and Read Emails With Your Eyes Using This $60 Device  http://w                ww.iop.org/news/12/july/page_56546.html  “Millions of people suffering from Multiple Sclerosis, Parkinson’s, muscular dystrophy, spinal cord injuries or amputees could soon interact with their computers and surroundings using just their eyes, thanks to a new device that costs less than £40. Composed from off-the-shelf materials, the new device can work out exactly where a person is looking by tracking their eye movements, allowing them to control a cursor on a screen just like a normal computer mouse. The technology comprises an eye-tracking device and “smart” software…Researchers…demonstrated its functionality by getting a group of people to play the classic computer game Pong without any kind of handset. In addition users were able to browse the web and write emails “hands-off”. The GT3D device is made up of two fast video game console cameras, costing less than £20 each, that are attached, outside of the line of vision, to a pair of glasses that cost just £3. The cameras constantly take pictures of the eye, working out where the pupil is pointing, and from this the researchers can use a set of calibrations to work out exactly where a person is looking on the screen. Even more impressively, the researchers are also able to use more detailed calibrations to work out the 3D gaze of the subjects – in other words, how far into the distance they were looking. It is believed that this could allow people to control an electronic wheelchair simply by looking where they want to go or control a robotic prosthetic arm…The commercially viable device uses just one watt of power and can transmit data wirelessly over Wi-Fi or via USB into any Windows or Linux computer…Dr Faisal said: "Crucially, we have achieved two things: we have built a 3D eye tracking system hundreds of times cheaper than commercial systems and used it to build a real-time brain machine interface that allows patients to interact more smoothly and more quickly than existing invasive technologies that are tens of thousands of times more expensive. “This is frugal innovation; developing smarter software and piggy-backing existing hardware to create devices that can help people worldwide…”
32.    Raspberry Pi production grows, $35 Linux computer now available in bulk  http://arstechnica.com/information-technology/2012/07/raspberry-pi-production-grows-35-linux-computer-now-available-in-bulk/  “…Now that RS and Farnell have ramped up their Raspberry Pi manufacturing efforts, the little Linux computer is soon going to be easier to obtain. According to a statement published today by the Raspberry Pi foundation, the manufacturers are producing approximately 4,000 units every day. The purchasing limits have consequently been lifted, making it possible to purchase the system in much larger quantities. The ability to bulk order Raspberry Pi units is a major win for schools and businesses that want to take advantage of the low-cost Linux computer. Schools, for example, can finally buy enough to be able to hand one to every student in a class…”
Open Source Hardware
33.    XinCheJian Hackerspace in China & Open Source Hardware  http://live.orange.com/en/xinchejian-hackerspace-open-source-hardware/  “Hackerspaces are community-operated physical places all around the world, where people can meet and have fun while building their projects, in the domains of computer, technology, science, digital, electronic art, etc…Each hackerspace is an autonomous entity, and is an environment where people can learn and tinker with technology, work in teams, participate in international competitions where many new opportunities can be found and created for all…Hackspaces in China focus around hardware technologies. XinCheJian is the first among them in China, established in November 2010. It aims to support, create and promote physical computing, open source hardware and Internet of Things. Its current projects cover different domains of electronic device usage, vary from 3D printer, quadcopter (4-airscrew helicopter) to urban farming equipments…David Li is the founder of XinCheJian. He is a strong supporter of the Open Source Hardware movement. For him, Open Source Hardware and fund raising platforms like KickStarter open a whole new way for Hardware fans to turn their dreams into reality. Contrary to common business models where the device maker needs to reach a certain sales quantity in order for the product to be marketable and profitable, this new scheme allows Hardware fans to start producing their devices with only the initial orders which cover the cost of the first samples…Besides XinCheJian, there are several other hackerspaces in China, including Beijing Maxpace, hackerspaces in Shenzhen and Hangzhou.”
34.    ArduSat, the first open source microsatellite, accessible platform with open access to the public  http://www.nanotech-now.com/news.cgi?story_id=45557  “…you could be at the helm of a machine that flies away over the horizon at over 18 times the speed of sound, detects meteors vaporizing in the skies over Europe, photographs the sunset over the horn of Africa, maps the Earth's magnetic field cruising over the Indian Ocean, snaps a picture of the Southern Lights dancing underneath off the coast of Australia, samples the upper atmosphere for biomarkers and other signs of life, flies effortlessly over a hurricane to look straight down its eye, maps the emitted spectrum of the sun, and is back over your head in an hour and half.  And you can do all of that starting at $325. The ArduSat is a standard microsatellite based off the Calpoly CubeSat standard, relying on off-the-shelf technology and space-proven components. The key innovation, however, is the architecture of the payload: it carries a suite of over 25 unique sensors and a purpose built payload computer based off the ubiquitous Arduino standard, which enables anyone to easily write their own code and use the satellite…The ArduSat project is currently featured on Kickstarter…”
35.    How Public Lab Drafts the Public With Its Open-Source Tool Development Process  http://www.pbs.org/idealab/2012/06/how-public-lab-drafts-the-public-with-its-open-source-tool-development-process171.html  “……”
Open Source
36.    Synfig Studio Animation Software  http://worldofgnome.org/synfig-studio-animation-software/  “Synfig Studio is a free and open-source 2D animation software, designed as powerful industrial-strength solution for creating film-quality animation using a vector and bitmap artwork. It eliminates the need to create animation frame-by frame…Synfig Features:  Spatial resolution-independence - Most elements are vector-based, and all layers are parametrically generated, hence even when changing the target resolution of a project, the only pixelation will occur in imported raster images…Temporal resolution independence - Animation-keyframes are automatically interpolated by the computer, resulting in smooth motion…Pentablet-friendly tools - The draw tool already reads the pressure sensitivity channel off your favorite tablets, for natural line weighting…Synfig…has been designed from the ground up with animation workflow in mind…Unlike purely SVG-based vector software, and most consumer-level animation programs, Synfig has full support for gradient paths – gradients that follow along a drawn shape…Synfig supports a multitude of layers of various types; geometric, gradients, filters, distortions, transformations, fractal…”
37.    Overclocked Raspberry Pi running Raspbian OS is lightning quick  http://www.geek.com/articles/chips/overclocked-raspberry-pi-running-raspbian-os-is-lightning-quick-20120713/  “The goal of the Raspberry Pi Foundation in releasing limited quantities of the Raspberry Pi was to accelerate the development of software for the machine before targeting schools. It seems to be working…The reason for this is the development of the Raspbian Linux distribution. It is a distro based on Debian, but with all the packages optimized specifically for the Raspberry Pi…Raspbian is the first to target it specifically and focus on performance. The new OS also takes full advantage of the floating point hardware the board’s processor contains–something previous distributions haven’t been able to do. One of the Raspberry Pi developers…managed to successfully overclock the board to run at 1GHz instead of the stock 700Mhz the ARM11 chip ships at. The combination of an overclock and optimized operating system make the Raspberry Pi noticeably faster and lightning quick at loading web pages…”
38.    Jumpshot: the Linux security stick you give to your friends  http://betanews.com/2012/07/12/jumpshot-the-linux-security-stick-you-give-to-your-clueless-friends/  “…Texas startup Jumpshot launched its initial public funding round on Kickstarter this week. The long and short of Jumpshot is that it's a USB stick that removes bloatware, adware, spyware, and malware in a package that toddlers and grannies alike would be able to use. When Jumpshot is cleaning the system in the background, the user can stay connected and browse the Web in a Linux-based sandbox…When the USB stick is plugged in, the app downloads the Jumpshot engine code which then forensically interfaces with any Windows instances on the machine while they're "sleeping." For the PC-savvy individual, this type of USB live boot security environment should be old news. But this is where Jumpshot's marketing brilliance picks up. They've taken a tool similar to one that any competent PC user should be familiar with, and made it pretty, flashy, and simple enough for the tech-disinclined…”
Civilian Aerospace
39.    SpaceX a step closer to crew transportation  http://www.sen.com/news/spacex-dragon-crew-transportation-design-review.html  “The design review of the crewed version of SpaceX's Dragon spacecraft has completed successfully. Dragon, which recently delivered cargo to the space station, is being adapted to carry crew into orbit and the company hopes it will be ferrying astronauts by 2015. SpaceX's Dragon capsule, which launches atop of a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket, was always intended to be able to carry both cargo and crew into orbit. The Falcon 9 rocket has made orbit successfully on three occasions, and has twice carried Dragon into orbit - first in December 2010, and recently when the spaceship successfully berthed with the International Space Station. The two Dragon flights carried cargo only…the company presented its design specification to NASA and outlined how each phase of a crewed mission would work…”
40.    How the Lunar X Prize Is a Preview of the New Space Age  http://www.popularmechanics.com/science/space/moon-mars/how-the-lunar-x-prize-is-a-preview-of-the-new-space-age-10624613  “…Our first mission payload is oversubscribed and our second is fully subscribed," said Alan Stern, director of the Florida Space Institute and chief scientist for the Google Moon Express team. "There are a number of market segments for commercial lunar travel." Stern and his fellow X Prize teammates are hoping that the demand for access to their experimental lunar lander is a hint at things to come…According to Alex Hall, senior director of the Google Lunar X Prize, Stern's team was not the only one whose phones rang off the hook after announcing room for payloads on their mission. "What's interesting about the discussions in Europe is, because of the way payloads get funding, there are a lot of research institutions that basically have stuff sitting on the shelf…”
41.     Virgin Galactic announces new launch vehicle  http://arstechnica.com/science/2012/07/virgin-galactic-announces-new-launch-vehicle/  “Planetary Resources and Virgin Galactic announced a new partnership Wednesday to launch a small swarm of telescopes aboard a new launcher from Virgin. Virgin's new launcher is to be called LauncherOne. It appears to leverage some of the hardware already developed for SpaceShipTwo, Virgin's suborbital tourist vehicle. Like SpaceShipTwo, the new rocket rides up underneath Virgin's big carrier aircraft, WhiteKnightTwo, to about 50,000 feet. After release, the rocket drops for approximately four seconds before the first stage ignites. After the first stage burns out, a second stage takes the satellite to orbit. Virgin hopes to provide fresh competition in the small launch market and give Planetary Resources a cheaper way to launch their spacecraft. "I believe this vehicle will create a long overdue shake-up…disrupting current norms and limitations in exactly the way that SpaceShipTwo has for human space travel and space-based science research," Richard Branson said…He went on to claim that LauncherOne has the largest initial order book of any new launch vehicle in history…”
Supercomputing & GPUs
42.    India Bolsters National Space Program Using NVIDIA GPU-Accelerated Supercomputer  http://finance.yahoo.com/news/india-bolsters-national-space-program-070100482.html  “…SAGA system, India's most powerful supercomputer and the holder of the 85 position on the Top500 list released yesterday, is leveraging NVIDIA GPUs to dramatically improve the design and analysis of the delivery vehicles critical to the nation's space program. Developed by the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO), one of the six largest space research agencies in the world, the SAGA supercomputer is used to tackle complex aeronautical problems. Harnessing the power of 640 NVIDIA Tesla GPUs and providing up to 394 teraflops of peak performance, SAGA enables ISRO to accelerate and improve the design and analysis of new and existing satellite launch vehicles…"GPUs enabled us to reduce the time to create, simulate and verify a new launch vehicle design from weeks to days, while improving the overall quality and durability of the design dramatically," said sources at ISRO. "This level of supercomputing power has made a huge difference in our space program…”
43.    AVADirect Now Offers Personal Supercomputer with Dual 8-Core Xeon CPUs, 192GB Memory and 4 GPUs  http://hexus.net/tech/items/systems/42181-avadirect-now-offers-personal-supercomputer-dual-8-core-xeon-cpus-192gb-memory-4-gpus/  “…AVADirect…offers the first personal supercomputer workstation with Dual 8-Core Xeon CPUs, 192GB Memory and Four Graphics Cards. Because of the close partnership with EVGA, AVADirect now offers…new EVGA SR-X motherboard with wide variety of component combinations…EVGA has released an enthusiast series motherboard that AVADirect offers in a custom configuration. Supported by the EVGA Classified SR-X dual-socket 2011 motherboard, the configuration boasts a whole new level of performance and expandability, including 7x PCI e expansion slots (with PCI-E 16x 3.0 support), 6x USB 3.0 ports, and 8x internal SATA ports; 4 being SATA III 6Gb/s. More importantly, the system will support up to 192GB of certified, Quad-Channel ECC RAM…”
44.    DOE Primes Pump for Exascale Supercomputers  http://www.hpcwire.com/hpcwire/2012-07-12/doe_primes_pump_for_exascale_supercomputers.html  “Intel, AMD, NVIDIA, and Whamcloud have been awarded tens of millions of dollars by the US Department of Energy (DOE) to kick-start research and development required to build exascale supercomputers. The work will be performed under the FastForward program, a joint effort run by the DOE Office of Science and the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) that will focus on developing future hardware and software technologies capable of supporting such machines…Although all the FastForward subcontracts have yet to be made public, as of today there are four known awards:  Intel: $19 million for both processor and memory technologies…AMD: $12.6 million for processor and memory technologies…NVIDIA: $12 million for processor technology…Whamcloud (along with EMC, Cray and HDF Group): Unknown dollar amount for storage and I/O technologies…”

*****

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